The transition to drinking from the cup
It can take up to 2-3 months for your child to get used to drinking from a cup. Practise makes perfect!
Your child would have had made another huge step in life with the first spoonful of solid food. At 9 to 12 months, another milestone for your child would be drinking from a cup.
It is recommended by paediatricians for children to start their transition from bottle to cup from 9 months of age.
Why can't your child stay on the bottle?
- Teeth and jaw deformation
The continuous use of the pacifier can adversely affect the position of their teeth and cause deformations of the jaw
- Tooth decay
When children drink sweetened drinks or milk from the bottle, tooth decay can occur from the frequent flowing of the sugar or acidic liquid around the teeth.
- More prone to obesity
A study from the Temple University in Philadelphia shows that due to the higher fluid intake from the bottle when compared to the cup(sample : caloric beverages), two year olds who drink more regularly from the bottle would be more prone to obesity than that of a child who drinks regularly from a cup.
Learning to drink from a cup
Your child learns to drink differently when switching from the bottle to cup as he will not have to suck and instead use the tongue and palate as the beverage flows from the cup into its mouth.
Does he usually have his bottle during bedtime? You can encourage him to transfer his loyalty to other objects; such as a stuffed animal. Even an extra cuddle before bedtime can distract him from the bottles.
Your child may not be able to drink as much from a cup at the start. It is advisable to first let your child try drinking about 120ml from the cup, then switch back to the bottle to complete his feed.
To successfully wean your child from the bottle
- Give your child the baby bottle for a shorter time with lesser milk each time
- Colourful mugs with comic or animal figures make drinking more attractive
- Try to remain consistent by ensuring your child successfully drinks from his cup every time (it will be hard)
It is perfectly normal for your child to take a couple of months to wean off. According to paediatricians and educators, the process would be more successful and faster when parents are consistent in the transition.
Tip for an ideal drink for your baby
- Carbonated, unsweetened water quenches the thirst, conserves and does not stain the teeth.
- Beverages with added sugar, syrup or sweeteners should be avoided. Even unsweetened juices should be given only after it had been heavily diluted with water.
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Questions about feeding and nutrition?
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